Quantitative polling is our specialty at Public Opinion Strategies – we have completed roughly six million interviews in all fifty states and a variety of foreign countries since our beginnings in 1991. And, unlike most other research firms, we own a telephone center and have access to over 400 CATI-enabled data collection stations for use in our work. We control the entire research process in-house — from questionnaire and sampling design, to survey briefing, to data processing and analysis. This allows us total quality control on every project that we complete, and allows us to meet client deadlines no matter how tight the timeframe. No one conducts high quality quantitative research better or faster than our firm.
Our use of telephone polling runs the gamut of research: nightly tracking surveys, monthly national omnibus surveys, single issue surveys, benchmarks, brushfire surveys, and business-to-business interviewing. We have the capabilities to conduct telephone surveys among respondents via their landline phone or cell phone.
National Omnibus Telephone Surveys
At least twice a month, Public Opinion Strategies conducts a national survey of 800 registered voters called a national omnibus. This is NOT a panel survey in which we re-contact the same respondents. Our omnibus surveys use Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling methodology, which gives us the confidence that our samples are representative of the national registered voter population. The sample is drawn proportional to the adult population in each state based on statistics obtained from the Census. Quotas are controlled for and based on this data for each state. As well, quotas are controlled for age and gender across the sample file as a whole. Omnibus surveys have multiple clients and cover many different topic areas. The POS omnibus allows a client to obtain national data on key questions for less money than conducting their own individual national telephone survey. Most clients ask anywhere from one to twenty questions. Screener and standard demographic questions are included in the cost.
Internet surveys allow for both close-ended and open-ended questions just as on a telephone survey, but in addition respondents can be presented with and evaluate advertising concepts or messaging components. We have had great success using Internet based surveys. We recommend using internet surveys when trying to complete:
- Surveys among a very specialized audience, such as physicians;
- Surveys among hard to reach audiences, such as opinion elites;
- Membership studies; or,
- A quantitative measurement of testing an advertising concept.
Some examples of this work include:
- Advertising recall and content assessment surveys for on-going ad campaigns in support of public policy issues. Our research has combined quantitative and qualitative elements, allowing us to gauge recall and ad performance in multiple markets and among a range of customer segments that would not have been possible in either an in-person focus group or telephone/mail environment.
- Extensive membership surveys for several organizations and leading associations. The surveys probed members/customers about organizational performance, information use/needs, perceptions of client mission statement, and needs assessment. These surveys have been used for extensive internal review and improvement for our clients, allowing them to make customer-focused changes to their organizations.
- On-line surveys to test the appeal and effectiveness of websites. For some of these projects, we conducted two parallel surveys – one testing our client’s website, and one that tested a similar questionnaire with a competing website. This technique allowed us to have control data for our client’s results, as well as allowing a variety of comparisons on comparable attributes.
Panel research involves recruiting a group of respondents who have agreed to take part in surveys. These respondents usually share an extensive amount of information about themselves and their households, which can be used for appropriate sample selection. How does it work? A respondent agrees to become a Panel Member. The member is defined by any number of variables — age, income, type of work, purchasing/decision-making power, etc. Even psychographic characteristics may be used in member selection. Members participate over time in a series of research studies covering either one or multiple topics.
Some target audiences can be difficult to survey by telephone or internet, so we recommend using a mail survey to reach them. An initial mailing is sent out that usually includes a cover letter from the client inviting the member/respondent to take the survey and explaining the purpose of the study, a survey questionnaire, and a postage-paid return envelope. Reminder postcards are also sent out periodically encouraging respondents to fill out the survey and return it. To help increase response rates and to offer members/respondents another method of completing the survey, we often include a web address in the initial survey and on the reminder postcard so respondents can go online to take the survey if it is more convenient for them, or in case they have misplaced their questionnaire.